People with Parkinson’s disease who are experiencing difficulty walking should engage in regular low-intensity practice on a treadmill, suggests a recent study. Sixty-seven participants were split into three groups: high-intensity treadmill (faster pace, shorter duration); low-
intensity treadmill (slower pace, longer duration); and stretching and resistance exercises that included leg presses, leg extensions and leg curls. Various gait and fitness assessments were taken pre- and post-intervention. Overall, the low-
intensity group experienced the greatest consistency in walking improvements, while the stretching and resistance training group showed the greatest improvements in general fitness and ratings of Parkinson’s symptoms. “These results have important implications for how we manage Parkinson’s disease, since low-intensity exercise can be done by most people with Parkinson’s,” stated Lisa M. Shulman, MD, with the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, in a press release.

These findings were presented at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in April.